Mar 17, 2019; Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, USA; Eddie Pepperell on the 18th green during the final round of THE PLAYERS Championship golf tournament at TPC Sawgrass – Stadium Course. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The much-discussed and highly controversial LIV Golf recently concluded its first tournament. And at least one veteran player was not impressed.

Shortly after the event wrapped up, Eddie Pepperell — a two-time winner on the DP Tour (AKA, the European Tour) let it be known that, in his opinion, the money that went into LIV Golf far exceeded the quality of play.

Pepperell’s take is surprising, though only somewhat. Some current PGA Tour stars — like Bryson DeChambeau and Dustin Johnson have defected. But generally speaking, the most notable names in LIV Golf are players whose best days are behind them.

That said, there were some low scores. Charl Schwartzel — who won the 2011 Masters — won the event, finishing at seven-under over the three-day tournament. South African golfers swept the top three. Henni du Plessis was the runner up, finishing a shot behind Schwartzel. Brandon Grace placed third, one two behind Schwartzel. All told, eight players finished under par.

A major issue facing LIV Golf going forward will be exposure, or lack thereof. Despite the apparent draw of the big names involved, the LIV event was not on any television stations, only online. While there’s obviously plenty of money behind it, it’s hard to imagine the Saudi-backed league growing much more if that doesn’t change.

[Eddie Pepperell]

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